This teacher at Pepperhill Elementary surprised each of her students with new bikes
Katie Blomquist is a 34 year old teacher at the North Charleston’s Pepperhill Elementary School, where many of the students live in poverty. Last year, one of her students mentioned how much he wanted a bike for his birthday, but his parents couldn’t afford to buy him one, and neither could Katie. It was then Katie Blomquist decided to do something. She started a ‘Every Kid Deserves a Bike!’ GoFundMe page in September and set a $65,000 goal.
I started thinking about all the other kids who might not have bikes. We take a lot for granted and we forget that there’s a large category of kids out there who don’t have bikes. That was such a large piece of my childhood memories, and I immediately thought, ‘oh, they’re not getting that, said Katie Blomquist.
Initially Katie thought about raising money only for the boy, but then thought about her other students, and then the kids from previous years. Eventually, she included the entire student body, even if some already had bikes. Students jumped with joy as Katie revealed hundreds of custom-made bicycles beneath parachutes normally used for P.E. class.
I made a really conscious effort to watch their faces and let it soak in and imprint in my brain when those tarps went up. It was that moment I’ve been waiting for seven months.
100 big-wheel tricycles and training bikes for the pre-school students were donated by Radio Flyer. A local business, Affordabike customized the remaining 550 bicycles, each one named ‘The Future’ and adorned with ‘Let’s go places.’ Affordabike donated bike locks and bells too. Katie’s campaign not only earned bikes for students, but it won a GoFundMe contest and a $10,000 donation for the school.